tv The Last Word MSNBC March 10, 2011 3:00am-4:00am EST
american nature, has to be slain in the public eye before they can win what they want. maybe it was something they learned before they were two themselves, something deep in their in fanlt's memory, they can't remember where they got it. i guess that's something of an excuse. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "the last word with lawrence o'donnell" starts right now. there's breaking news from wisconsin tonight, just as it appeared that the republican governor was about to compromise with the 14 senate democrats who remain across state lines. state republicans have just used a new legislative procedure to passion the governor's union busting bill without any democrats present. the vote was 18-1, with one republican voting no, and all 14 democrats recorded as not voting. nbc's john yang has been covering the story and is live in chicago. john, how did the republicans
vote on this without the democrats being back in the state to have the quorum we thought they needed in order to vote on this? >> reporter: lawrence, you said it. this is an interesting parliamentary tactic. i am not clear how this fits into the rules of the wisconsin legislature, because what they did, they all did this within the past hour, the senate republicans created a conference committee, a house senate conference committee which usually as you know reconciles differing versions of bills, one passed by the house and one passed by the senate. they created this without ever having passed the bill. they took the legislation the house passed, split it into two. one, a fiscal package, one, a nonfiscal package, even they said this is all to do with the budget, and they put the collective bargaining language, the language stripping public service unions in wisconsin of collective bargaining rights in the nonfiscal package, reported it to the senate, then voted on it in the senate.
the statehouse, lower chamber of the house will be in session tomorrow in special session at which they're expected to pass it, and of course the senate was able to pass this because for nonfiscal measures, they need a smaller quorum than they do for fiscal measures. for fiscal measures, they need at least one democrat to be present. by declaring this nonfiscal, they were able to vote without any democrats being present. democrats are up in arms. they say it was illegal. they say it violated the rules of the chamber. they are asking the attorney general to get involved, the attorney general a republican, but we will have to see where that goes, because this is on track for it to pass the assembly. the house, the lower chamber tomorrow, and go to the governor's desk for his signature. >> john, how much did this take the senate democrats by surprise? they obviously had been in negotiations the governor as we discovered through the governor's e-mails that had become public in the last 48
hours or so. it looked last night as you read the e-mails that they were actually very, very close to a possible negotiated settlement of this, and as they appeared to be closer than ever to negotiated settlement, suddenly we have this breaking in exactly the other direction. were the democrats completely taken by surprise by this, or did they feel overnight some of this might be coming? >> reporter: they were taken by surprise. they were meeting as the senate conference committee met, the house senate conference committee met and it went to the floor. they were meeting, trying to figure out what to do tonight. they had had indications that the senate republicans when they were going to vote with a smaller quorum were going to let more vulnerable members vote no, so they were actually some of them split. some said let's go back, let's force them to more members,
politically vulnerable members vote yes. they were hoping it would make it an issue in the next election. others said no, that's what they want us to do to create a quorum, then pass the whole bill, fiscal and nonfiscal. so they were debating this as this was going on. there was a bit of a divide. they felt they had wavering members, members that wanted to go back. there were some members whose resolve was cracking as it were about staying out, staying, denying the quorum, and i think that that crack really split wide open tonight. but as it turned out, they didn't need the democrats, one or two that might have gone back, to go back at all. >> we have a statement issued by mark miller, the democrat, saying in 30 minutes, 18 senators undid 50 years of civil rights in wisconsin.
their disrespect for the people of wisconsin and their rights is an outrage that will never be forgotten. tonight, 18 senate republicans conspired to take government away from the people. tomorrow we will join the people of wisconsin in taking back their government. john, that sounds to me at the end like tomorrow we will return to wisconsin. but it also sounds like the statement of a senator who believes this fight is now lost. >> reporter: it seems to be. i mean, they're making legal arguments. they're saying the vote, the action tonight was illegal, it was counter to the rules of the legislature, but i don't know where that's going to take them. the vote, the assembly is poised to vote, final passage, send it to the governor. i think they will return. the statement makes it sound
like they're going to go back and join the fight, but it is the fight after the battle is over, the battle in the senate is over, appears to be over, with this 18-1 vote tonight. >> john yang, thank you for untanging this news. >> reporter: thank you very much, lawrence. >> joining me now, cory mason. thank you for joining us, representative. >> thanks for having me. >> it seems the senate has taken this action, now that bill must come back to your body to be voted on tomorrow. we saw what happened when they moved this bill through your body last week. what are you expecting next? well, i am expecting complete loss of any sense of fair play or abiding by the rules or rules of law. what they did tonight was really just shameful. they had a meeting notice less than 24 hours, didn't abide by
the rules, took everybody off guard with this conference committee before both houses had passed the bill, which is why you usually have a conference committee to work out differences between both houses. what they did tonight was really shameful. they are so desperate to destroy worker rights, they are willing to resort to any tactic. i am really upset with what they are doing to workers rights, and as upset if not more what they are doing to democracy and give pima voice in their own democracy. what they are doing here is the most despicable way about passing a bill. it is proof they are willing to do anything to get it done. >> have you had any communication with the democratic colleagues in the senate and do you know if they are returning to the capitol tomorrow? >> i don't know if they are returning tomorrow. i know they are going to be here to fight for workers however they can wherever they are, i know they're committed to that, but you know, given the illegal vote, i think we're going to need to question the legality of
going to a conference committee with less than 24 hours notice. i know they're ready to fight it. the democrats will be ready to fight on the floor tomorrow. >> i want to bring in the democratic assembly leader, peter barca. did you have any idea this was what would happen tonight? >> we were shocked when they called for this conference committee. let's be clear, this is not a violation of rules, this is a violation of wisconsin law. we have an open meetings law that requires that they give 24 hours notice before a meeting. the attorney general, our current attorney general wrote a memo in august of 2010 outlining that unless there is good cause, you must give 24 hours notice. but actually if there is good cause, you can give two hours notice.
but they did not even give two hours notice. they posted it at 4:09 for a meeting that began at 6:00. there is absolutely no question this was a violation of our open meetings law. we do not believe there is any chance this can stand, and our first call tomorrow morning will be to the attorney general to act upon his own memo and enforce the law. >> now, how would that law be enforced? would you have to bring a lawsuit? would you have to go to court? can the attorney general take a union lateral action of some kind here? >> well, we believe the attorney general is empowered to take certain actions. we're not clear about all of the legal maneuvers. obviously they pulled us on such short notice we had absolutely no time to do any research. but i was on the conference committee. we came in, typically in a conference committee they explain the bill.
they refused to explain the bill. but clearly, the charade is up. at this point the fraud on the people of wisconsin has been unveiled for everybody to see. they all along intended to take away the rights, the basic worker rights we've enjoyed in this state for 50 years, and tonight it was evident to everybody that they passed a nonfiscal bill that had nothing to do with balancing the budget, and in fact, they took out the key component of the bill which was to do bonding that the governor said was the most important thing to avoid layoffs. so the fraud has been exposed and it's now clear i am sure to every person in wisconsin how far they will go. >> representative barca, in the open meetings law, are you aware of whether there are any remedies specified in the open meetings law for violations dealing with violations of that law as this might appear to be?
>> well, i know there are remedies, although i am not clear on exactly all of the remedies that are available. >> one possible remedy -- >> representative mason, go ahead. >> my understanding is one possible remedy is they can be forced to take the action again with proper notice in the light of day, so the citizens can actually see this destructive legislation for what it is. but my understanding that one of the recourses available is to make the public body retake its action according to the open meetings law. we'll be pursuing that heavily, i am sure. >> representative mason, who orders that. does that require you to go to a court to have a judge order that? >> well, i promise you as soon as we're off here, we're going to be exploring every avenue that's available to make sure the public's rights are recognized in this whole process. >> the next legislative stage in the senate would be to take up the actual so-called budget
repair bill with this union provision of it severed from it. what does the senate need to do on that part of the bill and do they still need a quorum for that that would include democrats? >> yes, they clearly would need to have senate democrats present, because the requirement is you have to have three-fifths of those elected present to take that vote. >> well, representative barca, does that indicate to you then that senate democrats may continue to stay out of the state? >> no. i think, lawrence, that they are so outraged at this action that based on senator miller's comment and i talked to him briefly this evening, i think they now are going to come back to help to join us in leading this fight against this illegal, improper and unethical effort that was put forward tonight against the people of wisconsin.
you know, lawrence, i don't recognize wisconsin any more. the wisconsin i grew up, people got along. the wisconsin way is you work together to reconcile your differences. the wisconsin way is to bring people together, not divide people, but this governor has divided this state like we have never been divided before. our state believes in clean and open government. that is no longer possible, i don't believe, under governor walker and his extreme and radical agenda. >> in senator miller's statement tonight, his last line is tomorrow we will join the people of wisconsin in taking back their government. representative barca, are you telling us senator miller told you that he will return to wisconsin tomorrow? >> that is what was implied. we only talked for a few minutes because there was so little time in between the conference committee and when the senate went in, but i'll be talking to him as soon as i'm off the line. >> i really appreciate you joining me in this history
making moment where having all the particulars of where we go from here legislatively may not be something anyone has command of. i appreciate you guiding us this far. joining me now, rick badger, executive director of afs smee 40 of wisconsin. thanks for joining me. >> great to be with you. i wish it was under different circumstances. >> senator miller's statement says in 30 minutes, 18 state senators undid 50 years of civil rights in wisconsin. he also said tonight 18 senate republicans conspired to take government away from the people. where do you go from here? >> first off, isn't it breathtaking? it is just so incredible. and again, you're talking to a real live wisconsin badger, a product of public schools, product of a public university, and never thought i'd see a day like this.
clearly the governor and republican leadership felt that they could never get public support behind this, which is why they went to this kind of a sham of a process, procedure. so we will go forward as senator miller stated. we will continue to fight. i believe now the wisconsin public, whether republican, democrat, independent, union, nonunion, see this for what it really is, taking away people's rights. and i can tell you one thing about wisconsin people. we understand fair play and have an innate sense of fairness. this is not right, this is not fair, and i don't think the wisconsin people are going to put up with this. >> rick badger, according to the e-mails we saw released yesterday, it looked as if the governor was very, very close to a compromise plan with the democrats. did people in the unions have any indication as today progressed that we were going to be here tonight with this story? >> well, first off, i don't think we were that close. with the selective release of e-mails, we looked at them,
there wasn't really negotiations. clearly nobody saw this coming. you heard from representatives to do this in darkness, i mean, we believe in clean government in wisconsin. we believe if they are good ideas, they should be open and seen by all. the fact it was done in this manner shows there was no desire to bargain in good faith on this issue. >> rick badger, is there any reason for the democratic senators to continue to state out of the state at this point? >> well, that is up to the democratic senators, and olive not been in contact with them on these issues. personally, i would hope everyone takes a step back, looks at all of the options legal and as far as the court of public opinion. as i told the senate majority leader three weeks ago, this is a bad idea, and once the public really sees what this is about, there's really no way they can win on the merits. so we're going to go forward and keep fighting.
>> rick badger, executive director of afscme 43, thank you. thaung to represent barca and also representative mason. we have more on this ahead. howard fineman on the politics of this move and former labor secretary robert reish on the impact to workers. and later, newt gingrich goes on the christian broadcasting network to address his repeated marital problems in his three marriages. can newt's serial adultery be forgiven by republican forgiven by republican presidential prim but with zyrtec® liquid gels, i get fast, 24-hour allergy relief. so i feel better by the time we tee off. zyrtec® liquid gels work fast, so i can love the air®. so i feel better by the time we tee off. missing something? now you get a cleanser with scope freshness. new fixodent plus scope ingredients. cleans and kills germs
there's more ahead on the breaking news from wisconsin where republicans in the wisconsin senate just voted to strip collective bargaining rights from public workers using a new legislative procedure. the assembly democratic minority leader says it is against the chamber's rules and is calling the attorney general. howard fineman and robert reish weigh in. later, kathy griffin versus
sarah palin. the comedienne is here with an x clues i have interview with news of an invitation she has now extended to sarah palin. ♪ [ male announcer ] an everyday moment can turn romantic anytime. and when it does, men with erectile dysfunction can be more confident in their ability to be ready with cialis for daily use. cialis for daily use is a clinically proven low-dose tablet you take every day so you can be ready anytime the moment's right. ♪ tell your doctor about your medical condition and all medications,
and ask if you're healthy enough for sexual activity. don't take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. [ man ] do not drink alcohol in excess with cialis. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache, or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than 4 hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision, stop taking cialis and call your doctor right away. [ male announcer ] ask your doctor if cialis for daily use is right for you. for a 30-tablet free trial offer, go to cialis.com. wis governor scott walker just issued this statement about what has just occurred in the wisconsin senate. the senate democrats have had three weeks to debate this bill and were offered repeated opportunities to come home which they refused in order to move the state forward. i applaud the legislature's action today to stand up to the status quo and take a step in the right direction to balance the budget and reform government.
the action today will help ensure wisconsin has a business climate that allows the private sector to create 250,000 new jobs. joining me now, senator chris larson by telephone. wisconsin democratic senator. senator larson, did you have any warning this was coming? >> absolutely not. this was something where the republicans were in caucus, they were in a meeting all day yesterday. they had a very brief statement afterwards and had a meeting all day today. when they got out of that, i was on my way to meet with my fellow democrats and we heard what they were coming up with and we couldn't believe it. i was in my car. i drove 80 miles per hour in order to try to get back to do something, anything, but it was obvious that the republicans wanted to revert 50 years' of worker rights in less than 50 minutes and that's what they did tonight. i think it is an affront to democracy, i think each of them gave new energy to the recall efforts under way now.
>> senator larson, as soon as you heard about this plan, you actually started driving back to wisconsin right away? >> i did. i was trying to see if there was something we could do, anything, in order to try and stop this, but it was pretty obvious they didn't want to have anything to do with that. they didn't want the democrats there. we thought we were talking, we thought we were having good discussions, we thought we were on our way to having a compromise that would preserve workers' rights, remove some of the bad things from this trojan horse bill and get something through that the people of wisconsin could agree with and find a compromise with. that seemed to have been an affront. it seemed to have been a trick again on their part. if they wanted us back, they could have had us back. this was something where they intentionally deceived us. >> senator miller, the democratic leader of the senate said tonight that tonight 18
senate republicans conspired to take government away from the people. he then also said tomorrow, we will join the people of wisconsin in taking back their government. i read that to mean that senator miller is on his way back to wisconsin like you are, and that the democratic senators will be back in wisconsin tomorrow. is that true? >> we're going to be getting together, i am going back to meet with them to talk and see what legal action can be taken. we think there was some notice they didn't do in trying to put this together. we think they may have been sloppy in their haes in trying to get this done. we are going to be looking at those options and we will be making an announcement after that is decided upon. you know, the story now isn't so much what we're going to do or where we stand, we stand with the workers as we always have. it is where the republicans are, and this watershed moment, the republicans, 18 of them, showed they would rather side with big corporate interest instead of the working people, people who are making and living off a low wage, and only have power by
banding together into a union. today they decided to vote against that and against the middle class. >> senator larson, what now happens to what remains of the so-called budget repair bill which does require as i understand it the higher threshold for quorum in the senate, which means it requires democrats to actually be in the chamber in order to have a quorum big enough to vote on it. >> right. >> will you return to the chamber, therefore deliver that quorum that allows them to vote on the remainder of the bill? >> that's why i'm not going to be in wisconsin much longer, lawrence. this is something where they could still try and do that. they proved themselves to be deceptive. they would rather put special interest instead of people -- i mentioned just the other day on your show, talking about all the things they've done, shutting down public debates, shutting down the debate in the assembly, shutting down the public hearings, closing out the
capitol, taking over our offices, now this. it is pretty obvious there is no low, there is no low they will go to in order to try and pass this special interest stuff and kill workers' rights. so it is going to be tough to try and negotiate with people on the other side of table that are untrustworthy and can't keep their word, but we'll see what we can do. we'll get together tonight and figure out the best. >> senator larson, did you share the feeling many had that you were actually close as a result of the leaked e-mails that we all saw in the last 24 hours that it looked like senate democrats and the governor had actually inched very close to a deal? >> no. and if you remember when i was on your show talking about this, all they did was release information via a request under open records request. they never said that they approved of these things. never said if they actually wanted to do these things. they wanted to give the appearance there was talks going on.
but it was obvious this was just an affront, it was a trick to the public to make it seem they were interested in it. and they never actually were. those were never negotiations. we asked for negotiations, and they used that request, the letter, they used as a prop in a press conference to say that. it shows where they are at. it is straight bullying tactics, and things like we saw tonight where they're passing things without the public being aware of them. i doubt that many people in wisconsin know what happened still as it just happened tonight, and a lot of people are going to wake up, try to figure out what to do. i think like i said, the recall efforts just got a lot more powerful, and there are going to be a lot of people strepg out to the streets with clip boards to recall these people. >> democrat chris larson, thank you for joining us on this historic night for wisconsin.
>> thank you. >> joining me now, howard fineman of the huffington post and msnbc, and robert reich, former labor secretary in the clinton administration, and author of aftershock, the next economy in america's future. robert reich, fix for us this event's position in the history of the american labor movement. >> lawrence, this is another example, and we've had actually relatively few examples over the last 50 years, but over the last 100 years a number of examples of governors, of executives, politicians, basically trampling on the rights of people, making a mockery of democracy and of the rule of law. in wisconsin, the governor exposed himself. after all, his whole justification for getting rid of most of the bargaining rights of federal and state workers was to save money, but in order to ram this particular piece of legislation through the state
senate, they had to characterize it having nothing to do with the budget at all. i think the governor is going to pay a huge political price for this. >> howard fineman, the governor has already paid a price in wisconsin polling. polling turned against him. but did he just become a possible leading contender for the republican presidential inauguration since this republican achievement in wisconsin is something that was being cheered strongly by national republicans? >> well, this story is no longer, if it ever was, about wisconsin. it is about the power of unions and republicans' effort to destroy them if they can politically for reasons i explained the other week, concerning treasury of unions and powers unions have in elections. now it is beyond organization.
what this is about are republican strategists and leaders, whether rick perry, head of republican governors's association out of texas or karl rove in american crossroads, the koch brothers or haley barbour or anybody else involved in national republican strategy. what they want to do here is to try, number one, to goad the people in wisconsin to overreacting. the strategy for the republicans in 2010 is to portray barack obama and his allies as a sort of '60s style bunch of radicals out to upset american values. and they're going to try to force the president to come out and defend the workers in wisconsin. he's been very quiet. they want him out there on the frontlines. and they are in a college town of madison, wisconsin, where they want the students and the unions and the democrats to take the bait of this provocation and overreact in a way that will
sell poorly in swing states in 2012. in virginia, in north carolina, in indiana, in colorado, in florida, all of them swing states, all of them with relatively low percentage of unionized public workers and unionized workers generally. that's what's going on. that's the big picture here. and now the democrats are the ones who have to be the grownups because the republicans have been the ones to issue the provocation. this is very serious stakes having everything to do with the 2012 election. scott walker is almost immaterial. he will be a hero in the halls of republican conservativism, a hero at the republican convention. i seriously doubt he'll be on the ticket, but he is doing what the real leaders of the republican party want done. >> robert reich, senator miller said in his statement in 30 minutes, 18 state senators undid 50 years of civil rights in wisconsin. did this process provide
something that is encouraging to other republican governors or was it so messy, so chaotic, so politically risky that other republican governors will now be wary of taking steps in this direction? >> lawrence, i think that in ohio, john kasich is probably encouraged by what walker did or what walker is doing. i wouldn't be surprised if governors in new jersey, christie and indiana and other midwestern states where you have republican governors that feel they are in the asen den see take some courage from all of this and feel that actually governor walker is going to make head way, at least among republicans and conservatives. but i do think that the american public does not like this kind of extremism. republicans both at the state level and also republicans that are threatening shut down of the federal government risk turning the public off, not just democrats but also many independents and many republicans themselves who don't like these kinds of tactics. >> howard fineman of the huffington post and former labor
secretary robert reich. thank you both for joining me. >> thanks, lawrence. >> thank you. coming up, newt gingrich explains why he is not a hypocrite for spearheading the impeachment of president clinton while gingrich was having his own marital affair. david from will explain how he thinks he is going to get the inauguration. ♪ [ lane ] here's the trouble with most anti-wrinkle creams. the cream disappears but your wrinkles don't. ♪ introducing neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair. it has the fastest retinol formula available.
in fact, it's clinically proven to smooth wrinkles in just one week. so all you have to do is sit back and watch your wrinkles go away. new rapid wrinkle repair. from neutrogena®. before i started taking abilify, i was taking an antidepressant alone. most days i could put on a brave face and muddle through. but other days i still struggled with my depression. i was managing, but it always had a way of creeping up on me.
i felt stuck. i just couldn't shake my depression. so i talked to my doctor. he said adding abilify to my antidepressant could help with my depression, and that some people had symptom improvement as early as 1 to 2 weeks. he also told me about a free trial offer from abilify! now i feel more in control of my depression. [ male announcer ] abilify is not for everyone. call your doctor if your depression worsens or if you have unusual changes in behavior, or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these in children, teens and young adults. elderly dementia patients taking abilify have an increased risk of death or stroke. call your doctor if you have high fever, stiff muscles and confusion to address a possible life-threatening condition. or if you have uncontrollable muscle movements, as these could become permanent. high blood sugar has been reported with abilify and medicines like it. in some cases, extreme high blood sugar can lead to coma or death. other risks include decreases in white blood cells, which can be serious, dizziness upon standing, seizures, trouble swallowing, and impaired judgment or motor skills.
depression used to define me, then my doctor added abilify to my antidepressant. now, i feel better. [ male announcer ] if you're still struggling with depression talk to your doctor to see if the option of adding abilify is right for you. and be sure to ask about the free trial offer. in tonight's "spotlight," newt gingrich is not yet officially announced presidential campaign has turned serious. so serious that he is now talking about the sanctity of marriage. i know. all republican candidates talk about the sanctity of marriage, but newt, newt is talking about the sanctity of his marriage. i should say his marriages. and how he violated the sanctity of some of those marriages.
he is talking about this for the only reason any politician would ever talk about it, his adultery is already public information and he has to find a way to deal with it early in the campaign so that all of those anti-adultery republican primary voters will forgive him for it and not automatically vote for some other republican candidate just because that candidate is not yet a proven adulterer. when a republican politician needs forgiveness for sin in order to pursue elective office, where better to ask for that forgiveness than pat robertson's christian broadcasting network. >> there's no question that at times in my life partially driven by how passionately i felt about this country that i worked far too hard and that things happened in my life that were not appropriate, and what i can tell you is that when i did things that were wrong, i wasn't trapped in the situation of
ethics, i was doing things that were wrong and i was doing it. i found that i felt compelled to seek god's forgiveness, not god's understanding, but god's forgiveness, and that i do believe in a forgiving god and i think most people deep in their hearts hope there's a forgiving god. somebody said when we are young we seek justice, as we get older, we seek mercy. there's something to that. i feel that, i mean, now i am 67, and i am a grandfather. i have two wonderful grandchildren. i have two wonderful daughters and two great sons-in-law. chris and i have a great marriage, and i think i learned immense amount, and i feel that god in that sense has blessed me with an opportunity as a person, for getting all of the political stuff, as a person, i've had the opportunity to have a wonderful life and to find myself now truly enjoying the depths of my
life in ways i never dreamed was possible to have a life that was that nice. >> joining me now, david from, former speech writer to george w. bush and editor of from forum.com. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> david, you and i never had to advise a politician how to handle a public discussion of his extramarital affairs, but given newt's history and what is incumbent on him as a republican primary candidate, how's he doing? >> his theory here is you take the biggest vulnerability and turn it into your biggest strength. you run with it. if your problem is marriage, you then remind everyone of your marriage. if the problem is your third wife, you remind everyone of your third wife. the more traditional way would be to be more defensive. saying i am not asking the voters to marry me, they are choosing me to balance the budget and defend the country.
i don't know about this. i don't know that this is going to work because i don't know how especially women voters who are going to be very important in iowa are going to react to the reminder of the fact that newt gingrich's second wife is talking to the press and she's got some hard things to say about him. >> now, i'm not very clear on the workings of the minds of christian evangelical voters that appear in the republican primary voting booths, but they seem to be pretty strongly anti-adultery, certainly their religion demands that of them. mrs. gingrich, the current mrs. gingrich became the current mrs. gingrich by starting in an illicit, extramarital affair in the office with newt gingrich while he was married to someone else. that's the current mrs. gingrich who will be standing beside him presumably during campaign events. does the current mrs. gingrich have to ask for forgiveness from these same religiously
conservative voters that will be appearing in republican primaries? >> that would be an unprecedented and astonishing thing. you know, they give politicians a lot of leeway. a lot of things the voters prefer not to know, prefer not to ask, and often politicians give the voters more information than the voters are really asking for. i think newt gingrich could put all of this behind him if he were to focus on other kinds of issues. if you run as the values candidate, and kindness as a value, i don't think he is hurt by the adultery so much. that would eliminate an awful lot of our political class. the thing it will hurt is the idea he was cruel to the two previous wives, both of whom got sick. if he looks calloused toward them, the question is how will he treat you. most of them have no desire to marry newt gingrich and don't worry how it would be to be his wife. >> let's look at something else he said to the christian broadcasting network.
>> the presidency is different than any other job. you're asking, you're looking for somebody that is going to lead the nation. you're looking for somebody who should be ideally the unifier of the nation, and looking to somebody whom you will loan enormous power for four years. you want to be able to look into them and understand do they share my values. >> wouldn't what newt just said be the argument against newt, he is talking about you want to vote for someone who can unify the country. isn't this precisely what newt could never do? >> well, i think one of the things that i really worry about this a lot, is when republicans say the country, they don't always see the whole country, how very big it is, how many different kinds of people are in it. do they have a kind of definition, these are the people that share my values that certain americans are more american than other americans, and then once you get into that way of thinking, it is then possible to revise your
definition of what it means to have people make exactly the kind of assessments that newt gingrich said, but it is important to remember, you know, americans are not all evangelical, not all religious, straight, white, and if you're going to unify all of them, you have to see all of them. >> david, assuming that the action taken in wisconsin holds and survives legal challenge, that democrat legislators want to bring to it because of violations to the open meetings rules and other violations that may have occurred, is a win by scott walker on his union busting approach in wisconsin something that rockets him into real contention in the republican presidential campaign? >> he will be certainly a name to con jure with, but talking union i have indication, if there's one thing that union fies republicans, me included,
it is the belief that public sector unions have become too costly, too burdensome. this is the fundamental issue in state and local politics for organizing republicans. walker will be a hero, whatever his personal faith, and as one of the previous interviewer said, this is going to give inspiration to republican governors everywhere. we are going into an age of austerity where government is going to have to cost less and this is going to be one of the ways that republicans will say the government can cost less by changing work rules. it is not just about the money, it is about the way work is organized at the state and local level. >> but ultimately it is about the money, and given that the unions conceded all of the money points, the chaos that erupted over what was left of the battle is what has made governor walker possibly as you say too battle scarred to go forward nationally. >> they haven't conceded all the money points. there are still prisons with six employees for every one inmate as happens in one of the rural counties of wisconsin. that's the issue.
staffing, management. how do you move people around. can you close a facility without -- even when people are laid off in another facility. >> david frum, former speech writer to george w. bush and writer from frumforum.com. thanks a lot, david. >> thanks. last week, sarah palin called kathy griffin a 50-year-old bully. wow, what a shot. coming up, kathy griffin will be here, exclusively, to respond to that attack.
coming up, kathy griffin is here exclusively to tell us about her feud with the entire palin family. she gets tonight's last word. hes to find out how much people love clean sheets. take one of those pillows and take a big smell. they smell really fresh. aw! this is hot. [ male announcer ] what if we told you we washed these sheets seven days ago? -really? -no way. are you serious?
time to face the pollen that used to make me sneeze. but with zyrtec® liquid gels, i get fast, 24-hour allergy relief. so i feel better by the time we tee off. zyrtec® liquid gels work fast, so i can love the air®. missing something? now you get a cleanser with scope freshness. new fixodent plus scope ingredients. cleans and kills germs that cause odors to your dentures. new fixodent cleanser plus scope ingredients.
who should watch, if you believe sarah palin, is two-time emmy winner comedienne kathy griffin. >> rumors are kathy griffin is going to play a sarah palin tea party type on "glee." what do you make of that. she hasn't been kind to you or your family. what do you think? >> you know, kathy griffin can do anything to me or say anything about me because, you know, she's a 50-year-old adult bully really is what she is, kind of a has been comedienne, and she can do those things to me. i would just ask for respect of my children as she stated on cnn that her new year's resolution was to destroy my 16-year-old daughter. kathy, pick on me, come to alaska, pick on me, but leave my kids alone. >> joining me now, the starve the broadway show, kathy griffin wants a tony, premiering friday. kathy griffin.
thanks for joining me. >> my pleasure. >> this 50-year-old thing. >> i am afraid it is true. >> but how dare she. >> just because you talk about it, doesn't mean she should ever talk about it. >> are you accusing her of being a bully? that word is bandied about. >> before we get to the fun of being kathy griffin, being in a fight with the entire palin family. >> a blast. >> the problem of bullying in the country that the president is going to address which sarah palin doesn't take seriously in any way, and is perfectly happy to just have other people take the serious burden of talking to this country about the serious things. >> and it actually describes how she has disdain for equality, and of course i work with the lgbt community and all of these great organizations that do real work with bullying.
of course, when i do that work, that's a very serious thing, so it is different from a comedian telling jokes. >> what is it people like sarah palin don't get about bullying, the real dangerous bullying that's out there for adolescent gay kids and what they come up against in their lives? >> i think there's this wave now of self-righteousness, and it seems like just any basement blogger to anybody running for an office, whether they -- is she the governor or has she been the governor? >> she used to be. >> she was calling me a has been comedienne. i would say she has been the governor. >> have you ever quit halfway through a show? >> no, i have not. i would not feel right about that because people paid their hard earned money to see me. >> you kind of promise them ahead of time you will do a whole show. >> they know i'm going to do a full show, they know i will curse and be somewhat offensive and i hope to make them laugh. but the topic of real bullying is different. we talk about the rutgers case,
obviously other cases like that, it is a completely different animal. so if you don't know the difference between a joke and real bullying, then are you going to call the ghost of johnny carson a bully, the entire cast of snl a bully, late night hosts? that's what we do. make fun of people. >> one of her big weaknesses is the sense of humor thing. but you are now in a fight with her 16-year-old daughter? how did that happen? >> well, this network reported as -- >> nice intro. >> when her daughter willow posted on her facebook wall, and i don't follow her on facebook, i am not on facebook, when i saw on all the news coverage about the daughter using the f word, pejorative for gay people, i don't mean the fun four letter word. >> that's on screen.
>> when you're 16 you know you're not supposed to use that word. that's a word you tie in with bullying in the lgbt community, a community she doesn't care about, but that's completely obvious to me that's very different. you can see if you look at that posting, that's not a joke. so what i say is clearly a joke. it is always a joke, i am on stage, at a comedy club, at the theater, i have a microphone, all jokes. >> and you've just come from wisconsin. >> i did a special there. it was truly, i taped my last special in milwaukee in the hub of all the protesting, it is madison. but -- >> did you just go there because there's a crowd? you heard there's a big crowd. >> i would have gone for paparazzi, not a crowd. please, i have integrity or at least i need to get there soon. i was taping my special there because it is a great comedy town. i happen to be a member of two unions as well. in the middle of the show i stopped for a second, said i want to applaud all of you in madison protesting and support
those of you that do, i don't mean to get too political but i am into unions myself, you guys know they're essential. then i stopped like they would be like where's the next joke and the whole audience stood up and applauded. this was just a theater audience for two shows in milwaukee. >> newt gingrich made some news talking about the difficulty, the strain of being, you know, sexually exclusive within marriage. it has never been easy for him. listen to what he had to say to the christian broadcasting network. >> okay. >> there's no question that at times in my life partially driven by how passionately i felt about this country that i worked far too hard and that things happened in my life that were not appropriate. >> under the cloak of the passion of the country, by the way. >> you feel passionately about this country. you work far too hard on occasion. >> first of all -- >> has that driven you to anything you regret you would
like to unburden yourself with here on msnbc? >> any unburdening i do wilf course be in my broadway show that opens friday. that's where all the has beens are. it is only running ten shows, eight days. can i personally thank sarah palin? because i did have to add two more shows because of her comments, and i really want to thank her because i appreciate it. i promise to go in depth in the shows. that's what i consider doing the lord's week. sarah palin driving more people to my show. >> how many seats are you holding for the palin family? >> at least four. they can have the whole row. she said that come to alaska, come on, kathy. you know i did a whole episode, went to her house, knocked on the door, left a note inviting her to my show in anchorage. that's how studied her staff, whoever writes her stuff for her. they didn't even wiki me. >> your show, kathy griffin